Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court slammed the Yogi Adityanath government for its failure to control the second surge of coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh and urged the government again to impose a 14-day lockdown in the state.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Siddharth Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar rejected the state government’s plan to control the pandemic saying that the government should give up the “my way or no way” attitude and follow the court’s directives on tackling the situation.
“It is shameful for the state government failing to provide oxygen to patients dying due to deadly virus,” rapped the High Court.
Passing orders on a PIL, the two-member bench also pulled the State Election Commission (SEC) for its failure to enforce Covid-19 guidelines during the ongoing panchayat polls resulting in the deaths of 135 government employees on polling duties.
Issuing a notice to the SEC, the High Court warned to initiate criminal proceedings against the commission officials if they failed to make people follow guidelines and protocol during the last phase of panchayat polls. The court has fixed May 3 as the next date to hear the case.
Expressing concern over the covid-19 situation going out of hands, the two-member bench said that “if things are not in control then we request you again to impose a two-week lockdown.”
“Please suggest it to your policymakers. It is blowing out of proportion. There is a shortage of doctors, staff, oxygen, beds and medicines. Everything looks good on paper but the fact remains that there is a shortage of everything. With folded hands, we request you to exercise your discretion,” urged the two-member bench.
Earlier, the High Court had suggested a two-week lockdown in five cities about a week ago but the Yogi Adityanath government had moved to the Supreme Court which granted a stay against the Allahabad High Court order.
The Bench observed that the steps taken by the Yogi Adityanath government are not sufficient to tackle the crisis. It has suggested some steps for the state government to follow. The High Court directed a Secretary level officer to submit a detailed report on its implementation at the next hearing on May 3.
Refusing to believe the blueprint submitted by the state government to control the situation, the High Court has directed District Judges in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur, Agra, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budha Nagar and Jhansi to appoint a Senior Civil Judge as Nodal Officer and directed them to submit a weekly report on the current pandemic situation to the Registrar General of the Allahabad High Court.
“We will not tolerate your paperwork anymore to tackle the situation. Now you follow what we order,” slammed the High Court, suggesting the following directives for the state government to follow:
1. Medical bulletins in major cities to reduce the burden on hospitals
2. Vacant bed information on the portal
3. Hospitals should not deny admissions to critical patients on negative antigen report
4. Recruit more medical staff on contracts and regulate the supply of medicines, oxygen etc in hospitals
5. Duties of Doctors, health workers should be rotated every six hours
6. Set-up more Covid Hospitals and Centres
7. Submit details of actual figures of fatalities to Nodal Officers appointed by the High Court.
8. SHOs should ensure cremation of dead as per Covid-19 guidelines and make available details to local bodies for registration of deaths.